Mumbai, May 23 (IANS): The BSE Sensex jump-started to cross the 40,000 mark for the first time ever on Thursday with the ruling NDA leading the Lok Sabha vote count from early in the day. In an unexpected turn, however, the markets witnessed a sharp fall in the second half owing to profit booking that washed away all the early gains.
From the historic peak of 40,124.96, reached within an hour of market opening, the Sensex ended trade on counting day at 38,811.39, which was over 1,300 points lower than the highs reached earlier.
With the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leading the vote count from the beginning, the markets saw a massive gap-up opening. The morning gains went up to the magical figure of 12,000 (Nifty50) but then saw a sudden fall, said Sameet Chavan, Chief Analyst-Technical and Derivatives, Angel Broking.
"In fact, the profit taking was so immense, we not only wiped off all gains but also went on to sneak into well inside negative territory," Chavan added.
As political uncertainty went out of the picture, the volatility index or the India 'VIX' dropped by nearly 30 per cent during the trade session.
The Sensex closed in the red, 298.82 points lower, or by 0.76 per cent, at 38,811.39. It hit an intra-day high of 40,124.96, and a low of 38,651.61.
The Nifty also declined on Thursday by 80.85 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 11,657.05 after it had touched a lifetime high of 12,041.15
Globally, major Asian markets have closed on a negative note. European indices like FTSE, DAX and CAC are also trading in the red.
"World shares have fallen four consecutive days on Thursday as concerns grew that the China-US trade tiff was fast turning into a technology war between them," said Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities.
"Any credit implications of the outcome of India's general election will be determined by the policies adopted by the government in the next few years. These policies have yet to be formulated," US rating multinational Moody's Investors Service Vice President (Sovereign Risk Group) William Foster said in a statement.
"At this stage, we expect the broad push towards fiscal consolidation to remain, although with greater policy emphasis on supporting low incomes," he said.
"Unlike in 2014, NDA-II has to deal with a much weaker economy. Rural distress and slowing investment in the country are two major issues that need to be addressed in an urgent manner," said Deepthi Mathew, Economist at Geojit Financial Services.
"The developments in the global economy are also not favourable, especially with regard to the rising crude oil prices. The low crude oil prices benefited NDA-I in a bigger way," she added.